Mexican lettuce exports experienced a 32.6% year-on-year increase in 2019, totaling 309 million dollars, according to data provided by the Ministry of Economy. Mexico positioned itself as the world's third-largest lettuce exporter last year, behind Spain and the United States.
The main destination for Mexican lettuces was the United States, with 99.2% of all shipments. It was followed by Canada, Belize, and Japan.
Meanwhile, US exports of this vegetable totaled 539 million dollars, i.e. 5.3% higher than in the previous year Canada was its main destination, with a participation of 85.8%. Mexico and Taiwan ranked as two other prominent destinations, with 4.9% and 4.1%, respectively.
Lettuce ranked as the United States' third-biggest vegetable export product in terms of value during the 2017-2019 period. Fresh romaine lettuce accounted for 5% or $ 402 million of the US vegetable export value in that period.
During the last two decades, consumers in the United States and Canada have replaced the Iceberg variety with different varieties of lettuce as their main choice for making salads. Thus, while lettuce exports have declined in the past decade, these types of lettuce have increased by 33%, earning $ 100 million in export value.
Given Canada's year-round appetite for fresh vegetables, Detroit is the main port for lettuce exports to the North American country, with 26% of the total, even though the value of exports has decreased in the last decade as shippers have moved the product through other ports, such as Port Huron, Michigan.